The superhero trend on TV and film isn’t going anywhere any time soon. With films like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War grossing over a billion dollars each at the box office, it’s easy to see why. Kids and adults alike are drawn to these stories. Superheroes represent the best of us, those brave few who are able to overcome their circumstances and save the day. And with the daily news cycle, we need these uplifting stories more than ever.
What is also needed in superhero stories is increased representation. Black Panther has proved to be the exception to the rule, the lone example of a superhero film with an all-black cast and largely black crew. But it’s the only one. There are still very few Latinx superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe overall and only Jay Hernández as El Diablo in Suicide Squad on the DC Universe side. The film industry still has a long way to go in terms of expanding representation of all people of color and superhero films are no different.
TV on the other hand is doing slightly better. While there are no Latinx superhero-led shows currently on the air, there are a number of heroes in supporting roles. This includes series such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and The Gifted, both which air on major networks ABC and Fox respectively.
In worlds where men can turn into green Hulks and aliens are raised on Kansas farms, why can’t people of color exist and make a difference as well? The success of Black Panther proves just how important representation is and how POC long to see their stories told on screen.
Here are 13 Latino superheroes currently on TV. Many of these characters are on the same show, which means there is a small number of programs doing the heavy lifting. It’s time for other shows to take notice and expand their casts to include more Latinx heroes.
Yo-Yo Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley), Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Natalia Cordova-Buckley in ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’. Photo by Byron Cohen. Courtesy of ABC
Elena Rodriguez aka Yo-Yo is a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent with superhuman speed that causes her to snap back to her original location (hence her nickname). Before joining Phil Coulson and his team, she used her powers in to stop corruption in her native Colombia. In the most recent season of the show, Yo-Yo was injured in a fight resulting in the loss of both of her arms making her not only a Latina superhero, but a disabled one as well. She is granted cybernetic arms which give her increased strength. Besides appearing on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Yo-Yo also had her own 6 episode web series called Slingshot which was nominated for a Primetime Emmy.The character is played by Mexican actress Natalia Cordova-Buckley.
Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna), Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Gabriel Luna in ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’. Photo by Jennifer Clasen. Courtesy of ABC
Robbie Reyes appeared on the 4th season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the alter ego of Ghost Rider. The demonic force possesses Robbie and he uses it to extract revenge on the gang members who left his younger brother paralyzed. Robbie feels extreme guilt over the accident, believing everything that happened to his brother is his fault. He teams up with S.H.I.E.L.D to protect the world from the Darkhold, a dangerous book containing infinite knowledge. Since his character is still alive on the show, there is hope that fan favorite Mexican-American actor Gabriel Luna might one day return to the role.
America Chavez (Cierra Ramirez), Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors
Cierra Ramirez on stage at Google CS+X Series: Dress Code at Google Los Angeles Office on October 12, 2017. Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Google
America Chavez will make her TV debut in the upcoming animated shorts and TV movie Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors. She will be voiced by Colombian-Mexican-American actress Cierra Ramirez. America is strong and independent with super strength, speed, and the ability to fly. In the comics America is an interdimensional being but identifies as Latinx, finding a home on Earth within Latino communities around the world. America is notable for being one of the few LGBTQ comic book characters and Marvel’s only queer female character. There is no word yet if her sexuality will be addressed in the Disney series.
Tyler Posey attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
America will be joined on Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors by Dante Pertuz who goes by the name Inferno. He is voiced Tyler Posey who is of Mexican descent. As one might guess, Inferno has the ability to create fire, a power he is still learning how to control. In the comics, this power burns his skin, but is mended with his ability to heal rapidly. He can even use this power to grow back his own limbs. Inferno’s powers make him unpredictable and a bit of a loner. Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors will see him on the run, but hopefully not for too long.
Vibe (Carlos Valdes), The Flash
Courtesy of The CW
Cisco Ramon is the beating heart of CW’s The Flash. He is the funny and super smart best friend of the Flash, Barry Allen. The character Vibe is Puerto Rican and is played by Colombian-American actor Carlos Valdes. Vibe can open portals to alternate universes as well as seeing events in both the past and future. Not only is her a superheroic meta-human, but he’s also an engineering genius. He builds all the super suits and tech for Team Flash. He’s also a pop culture fanatic with a pension for giving everyone from bad guys to teammates superhero nicknames.
Gypsy (Jessica Camacho), The Flash
Jessica Camacho as Gypsy in ‘The Flash’ Photo by Bettina Strauss. Courtesy of The CW
Gypsy is the alias of Cynthia Reynolds on The Flash. She appeared on the 3rd and 4th seasons of the show. Gypsy is Cisco’s girlfriend from another Earth where she works as a multidimensional bounty hunter. Sadly Vibe and Gypsy had to break up when they could not make their alternate dimension relationship work. When first introduced, her character is severe and unwilling to break the rules. However, over time she learns to open herself up, especially to Cisco. The one thing she never compromises is her dedication to her career. Like Vibe, Gypsy has the power to observe events throughout time (which they call “vibing”) as well as opening portals to other dimensions. Gypsy is played by Latina actress Jessica Camacho.
Breacher (Danny Trejo), The Flash
Danny Trejo as Breacher in ‘The Flash.’ Photo by Katie Yu. Courtesy of The CW
Breacher is Gypsy’s father and a fellow bounty hunter on The Flash. While he was only a guest star on two episodes in season 4, the character is worth noting because he’s played by Mexican-American actor (and restaurant owner) Danny Trejo. He has the same superpowers as his daughter, but begins losing his abilities due to old age. Due to this loss of powers he is unwillingly forced to retire. Despite his initial animosity towards Vibe, Breacher comes to respect his daughter’s boyfriend and even offers him a job. Even though he has a gruff exterior he does love his daughter and want to see her happy.
Gizmoduck (Lin Manuel Miranda), Ducktales
Ducktales photo courtesy of Disney Channel
Disney’s DuckTales features the hero of Duckberg, Gizmoduck, voiced by none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Nuyorican writer, actor, and composer (to name a few) was brought onto the series by the Cuban co-creator Francisco Angones, who specifically wanted the character to be a Latino mixed with Peter Parker and Iron Man. Angones wrote the role with Miranda in mind, wanting his kids to have their own Latino superhero. Luckily Miranda was more than happy to play the part. Gizmoduck is the alter ego of Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera, a super and earnest smart inventor with a million ideas- just like the man who plays him.
Allegra Acosta in ‘Marvel’s Runaways.’ Photo by Paul Sarkis. Courtesty of Hulu
Marvel’s Runaways is based on the 2003 series of the same name written by Brian K. Vaughn with art by Adrian Alphona. In the comics, the youngest member of the group of teenage superhero runaways was named Molly Hayes, but for the Hulu show her name was changed to Molly Hernandez. Mexican-American actress Allegra Acosta plays the super strong Molly. Like the other Runaways, Molly is still learning how to control her powers. She is also trying to find out more information about her parents who died when she was young. Runaways also stars Mexican-American actress Ariela Barer as Gert Yorkes, however her character is not Latina on the show.
Eclipse (Sean Teale), The Gifted
Sean Teale as Eclipse/Marcos Diaz in ‘The Gifted.’ Photo by Ryan Green. Courtesy of FOX
The world in The Gifted is populated with mutants, including Marcos Diaz, who goes by the name Eclipse. When Eclipse’s family discovered his powers, he is kicked out of his house and forced to live on the streets of Colombia, eventually joining a drug cartel to survive. However, after falling in love with a fellow mutant, Eclipse leaves the cartel and joins the Mutant Underground. He has a very strong set of morals and wants to protect those like him from persecution. Eclipse has the ability to manipulate and project light. Actor Sean Teale who is of Venezuelan and Spanish descent plays Eclipse.
‘Marvel’s Daredevil’ photo by David Giesbrecht. Courtesy of Netflix
Claire Temple is the unsung hero of the Marvel Netflix universe appearing in Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. She is the nurse to the heroes, the one who stitches up their injuries. Claire can also hold her own in a fight and has joined in saving New York on more than one occasion. Puerto Rican and Cuban New Yorker Rosario Dawson plays Claire. Many fans hope that one day her character will become White Tiger. In the comics, White Tiger is a former FBI agent who becomes a superhero with superhuman strength, speed, and agility.
Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), Big Hero 6: The Series
Courtesy of Disney Channel
Disney’s Big Hero 6 tells the story of a group of super smart kids who become superheroes and save their city. Rather than making a sequel for the animated film, Disney made a TV series that would continue to follow the adventures of Hiro and his friends. Big Hero 6: The Series stars the voice actors and characters from the original film. This includes Cuban-Venezuelan-American actress Genesis Rodriguez as the voice of Honey Lemon. Rodriguez says the character is Latina and also voices her in the Spanish dubs of the movie. Honey Lemon is a talented chemist and carries around a purse that is actually a mini mobile lab.